Mr. Richard Stengel
Time Magazine Editor
Our family has been farming for more than three generations in Shelby, NE. Just
as any other industry, the technology used in our production process is
continuously updated. Our company's motto is Innovation, Leadership,
Stewardship. Everyday we are in contact with nature, we know how delicate the
balance of the ecosystems that aid on our production system are. It is in our
best interest to respect Mother Nature the way she requires us to. This is why
one of our most important missions in our farming is to be responsible with the
Stewardship of the land we feel privileged to work on.
In our farming practices, we use something called Precision Agriculture the
writer of your article does not seem familiar with. This systems consists of GPS
locator systems along with computers in our tractors and other equipment that
will apply a "prescription" of any given substance necessary in our soils (based
on grid sampled soil tests) so that we can continue to reestablish the
equilibrium of the ecosystem in a specific field.
The no-till practices, the continued research our grower organizations conduct,
support serious scientists in different Universities to protect our fields and
transition to the least to farming practices that least alter ecosystems. The
manure mentioned in your article is really an organic fertilizer that we have
the privilege to apply to our fields with the systems I have mentioned. To us,
it is the potential richness our soils can be provided with as opposed to how
"city people" see it as "waste" and smell.
In our farms we do not only grow food we also grow the ink you use to print your
magazine, diapers, biodegradable plastic ware and utensils, fabrics like bio
cool-max, soy silk, raw materials for salad dressings, candy, and any other
product you purchase in a supermarket.
As you can see from the few considerations I have expressed, there are many
aspects of farming that are very advanced, require knowledge, and I have not
even begun to mention the financial investment required to run a farming
business like ours, or those of our neighbors nor have I mentioned any of the
advanced farm marketing knowledge needed to be successful in an extremely
With less people in the world willing to be farmers the operations need to be
bigger in order to be efficient and successful. Less than 1% of the U.S.
population are producing the food the U.S and the world need. Years ago many
more households grew their own food. The driving force of the production in an
economies of scale system is the consumer because we always want cheaper food.
Sincerely yours, growing everything the world needs to survive.
Greg and Maru Whitmore